A Chesterton Police
communications clerk and three officers were commended for service above and
beyond the call of duty at the Police Commission’s meeting last week.
Communications Clerk Mary Conder, Officer Kaitlin Bruning, Sgt. Dave
Virijevich and Officer Michael Manion.
commended for her dedication on Jan. 8, when the CPD received a report of a
man’s threatening to kill himself. According to a letter written by Cpl.
John Carnahan, while dispatching officers, Conder also began pinging the
man’s cell phone and managed to get a GPS location indicating a signal on a
set of railroad tracks on C.R. 150W in Liberty Township. First on the scene
was Porter Police Lt. John McMahon, who found the man in his car, parked on
the railroad tracks. McMahon was able to get the man out of the car and then
the car off the tracks, shortly before a train came through.
“Had it not been
for (Conder’s) quick thinking, this would have been a very different call
and the male might not be here today,” Carnahan stated. “In moments like
this ‘just doing our job’ sometimes goes unnoticed. This is one of those
moments that show what happens when we work as a team and staying alert pays
off while on duty. It’s that reason I would like to recognize (Conder) for
going above and beyond during an in-progress call. Having a dispatcher that
is working on a full-time basis who ‘knows her job’ and recognizes who and
what goes on during a shift beneficial to his department.”
commended for her professionalism on the night of Jan. 20, when a vehicle
became stuck on the CSX railroad grade-crossing as a train approached.
According to a letter written by her shift supervisor, Sgt. Tony Alfaro,
Bruning succeeded in persuading the initially intransigent driver to exit
his vehicle, cleared the tracks of all other persons, including several Good
Samaritans, and signaled the engineer of the oncoming train with her
flashlight. The train did hit the car but at a significantly slower velocity
than its cruising speed.
“During the brief
situation, Officer Bruning remained calm and, while excited, she spoke in a
clear manner over the radio informing dispatch and officers of the
situation,” Alfaro stated. She was able to maintain her composure and
control the scene, alone, as other officers continued to the crash site.
While on the scene I overheard Lt. McMahon of the Porter Police Department
telling her that she had done a great job of informing officers and
dispatch. . . . I believe that with the limited time on the department she
has, less than two years, she acted in a way that all officers should strive
for in critical situations.”
Manion were commended for their actions earlier this month when they had
occasion to make contact with a young autistic man after his mother called
police. “I have had difficulties with my autistic son for more than 20
years, which often included police involvement,” the man’s mother stated in
a letter to Police Chief Dave Cincoski. “Since my son is high-functioning,
officers in the past, due to misunderstanding, have dealt with the outward
behaviors only. Never before have I witnessed the compassion and sensitivity
towards him as I did today. They have no idea how much that meant, nor how
much they helped ease my son’s anxiety, not to mention boosting my personal
strength and self-esteem. Please share this with them and recognize them for
their superb service.”
“All of our
officers do a great job but it’s nice when they get extra recognition when
it’s deserved,” Member Mike Orlich said.
whenever I see action that is proactive rather than reactive,” Member Pete
In other business,
members voted unanimously on Cincoski’s recommendation to promote
Probationary Officer William Scheiderer to Officer 1st Class, bypassing the
rank of Officer 2nd Class, given Scheiderer’s prior years of experience with
March 10 marked
Scheiderer’s six-month anniversary with the department, and under the CPD
Rules & Regulations an officer can be promoted directly to 1st Class when he
or she can demonstrate conduct, knowledge, and learning appropriate to that
Probationary Officer Adam Alicea has “excellent standing” at the Northwest
Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and will graduate in April, Cincoski said.
Cincoski also asked
for and received from the commission authority to begin the process of
recruiting additional volunteers for the CPD Reserve. At the moment there
are only four Reserve Officers, with space for an additional 11.